Almagro is a small size marathon, going for its 4th edition, organised perfectly by Miguel Ángel Muñoz Trapero. We already run Almagro in 2019, but at the end of June and at night-time, before it moved from the hot of summer to the coldness of a January morning in La Mancha.
Meeting Quique and co. in the bus, we arrive to Almagro after a long trip. With a start at 9am and -4⁰C we are about 60 participants there, between the marathon, half marathon, and marathon relay options. Many known faces, and just the time for a quick photo of the “four of Valladolid” (Quique, Pepe, Jaime “Nina” and myself) before the start.
The marathon course comprises 14 laps of a flat 3k loop. Not a fan of multi laps marathons before, it seems that the lockdown from 2 years ago changed this. If the loop offers some good views, is enough to keep oneself entertained. And so, it was.
With a clock at the start/finish time is easy to know the timing at each lap. Running on feelings I stay a loop with David, although a bit above my pace I decide to let him go. Jaime “Nina”, far ahead of most runners, already laps me for a second time when I finish my 7th and reach the half-marathon. At the end a marathon is a battle between you and your inner self, not so much against the other runners.
While keeping my cruise speed I continue completing laps. Heading towards the last four laps I feel that I can improve my 3h55m from Almagro 2019. Maybe the previous competition-free weeks left more energy in me. Enjoying the sunny weather and better temperature I cross the finish line in 3.42.41 (net time), 16th out of 47 finishers, in a race won by Nina in a stratospheric time of 2.41.58.
Happy with the result, that is my best marathon time in over 2 years, I hurry to the hotel to get a quick shower before catching a train back home.
That was marathon 104, and the 14th consecutive year running at least a sub 4h marathon. Next stop should be Castellón, the last marathon we run before the 2020 lockdown. It won´t be easy, but we will try to improve the 3.49.46 from then.
See you soon.